Macmillan and Active Lincolnshire are on a mission to get show-goers moving at this year’s Lincolnshire Show in an effort to highlight a new physical activity service to help people affected by cancer stay active.
‘Get Active, Feel Good Lincolnshire’, is a two year pilot project run in partnership by Macmillan and Active Lincolnshire to help local cancer patients recover more quickly and cope better with the physical and emotional side effects of treatment through gentle exercise.
Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioners Fiona Roche and Aaron Hall, who run the project, will be offering advice and support to people affected by cancer at the show on the 24th and 25th June and also encouraging show-goers to take part in big group exercise session as part of Macmillan’s ‘Not Alone’ campaign.
Figures released by Macmillan last year found that one in five (20%) of people living with cancer in Lincolnshire – an estimated 5,600 people – are suffering with loneliness as a result of their cancer.
The ‘Get Active, Feel Good Lincolnshire’ service has supported people like Billy Granger, 62, from Harby, who was diagnosed with colon cancer just weeks after losing his wife of 39 years to lung cancer. Although he had experienced symptoms, he’d put them to one side so he could focus on caring for his wife in her final weeks and it was only after she’d died that he went to see his doctor, by which time the cancer had spread.
With no other family around to support him, Billy had to face going through cancer treatment alone while still grieving for his wife, and consequently became very isolated and sunk into depression.
He visited the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at Lincoln County Hospital where the Macmillan team were able to offer him the support he so desperately needed. As well as giving him emotional support and putting him in touch with a befriending service, they also contacted Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioner Fiona Roche who introduced him to the Macmillan ‘Get Active, Feel Good Lincolnshire’ project.
Fiona visited Billy at home and talked to him about how exercise could help. She took him to an over 60’s exercise class held weekly in a village hall close to where he lived, which involves doing gentle exercises.
Billy said: “When my wife died I felt very lonely. We did everything together you see, she was my best friend. We didn’t need anyone else, we liked each other’s company. So to be told I had cancer so soon after losing Diane has been very hard. I haven’t even had time to grieve.
“Macmillan have been really good. Going to the class has really lifted me up, I’m a lot happier in myself, as I’ve got something to do, it gets me out of the house. I’m noticing an improvement already.”
Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioner Fiona Roche, said: “Gentle exercise can have huge benefits for people affected by cancer, not only helping to alleviate the physical side effects of cancer and treatment, but also reduce feelings of loneliness which can affect so many people after a cancer diagnosis, particularly in rural counties like Lincolnshire.”
“We want as many people as possible to join in our group exercise session as a visual demonstration that no one in Lincolnshire has to face cancer alone, there is support out there.”
Macmillan is the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society’s official charity of the year for 2015 – 2016 and will be showcasing Macmillan services across the county at this year’s Lincolnshire Show.
Money raised through the partnership will fund vital Macmillan services across the county, which help people affected by cancer with everything from financial worries, to advice about work and emotional support. It will also help to fund a wide range of Macmillan health professionals, from nurses to physiotherapists, so those facing a cancer diagnosis don’t have to go through it alone.
You can contact Lincolnshire’s Macmillan Physical Activity Practitioners on 01522 730 325 or visit www.lincolnshiresport.com/macmillan
If you’d like to support Macmillan in Lincolnshire, contact the Fundraising Support Centre on 0300 1000 200 between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our stand at the Lincolnshire Show.